How BlogHer '12 Prepared Me for Ants
The BlogHer '12 conference, held this weekend in New York, was by far the best thing I could have done for myself. Connecting with the women behind the supportive comments, Sparkles and shares solidified BlogHer as a tangible community, not just another slice - albeit a very large slice - of the internet.
From Thursday to Saturday, I dined, took notes, asked questions and shared my overall vision with thousands of other like-minded women. I received a comforting smile when my heart and head raced towards the finish line of a cohesive elevator speech and returned the same smile as one woman after another gave voice to her .com.
I met several of BlogHer's editors and they are as awesome as the notification that your post was featured. Not only do these women encourage the members of BlogHer behind the scenes but this weekend they and other internet mavens participated in Speed Dating, Geek Bars and panel discussions. I'm even more proud of my BlogHer Bling.
In an effort to divert my attention from the turbulence of my return flight, I decided to revisit the notes I'd gathered over the last few days. This lead to my noticing little nuggets that I wanted to implement immediately which transitioned into a 30 minute out-of-the-box brainstorming session. What turbulence?!
The steady flow of ideas, which continued as we taxied to the gate, caused me to repeatedly open my notebook to scribble just one more thing. As others corralled in preparation to exit the plane, I silently welcomed the delay.
Through baggage claim and the long trek to my car, my mind continued to associate old information with new strategies stretching the possibilities. Finally arriving to my car, I unlocked the door and, even without the sun to immediately confirm the suspicious shadows moving across my backseat, I knew my car was crawling with...ANTS!
Who invited the ants?!
Isn't this always how it goes? Things are going better than well, you're in a great place and then WHAM! something totally opposite happens. Whether it's your kids, significant other, friends, a past due bill, a health issue, a mistake or your boss, there's always the possibility you'll be snatched from outer most regions of the universe down to what can seem like the very smallness of today.
So what do you do?
1. Stand there clueless as to why such a situation has fallen in your lap.
My moment of shock included pacing back and forth talking to myself and periodically revisiting the severity of the situation on the off-chance God strikes down ants.
2. Share your disbelief that this would happen to you.
After sending my tragedy into Twitterville, I created a Mastermind group with the parking lot attendant. "How can I pray to keep a plane in the air to and from New York and forget to request that my car remain free of ants?!"', I asked the heavens half jokingly. "How exactly am I suppose to have dominion over creatures that have four more legs than I do?!", my bantering continued. My meltdown made him laugh which made the situation a lot less end of the world and I felt better being able to vent.
3. Actually, do something.
Bottom line, whether I liked it or not (and I did not like it one bit) I had to drive my car home. This was one of several suggestions from the other member of my Mastermind group. So me and the heebie-jeebies raced down the expressway with all the windows down and gospel music blasting (of course).
Yet, this is what BlogHer '12 was all about. We attended the conference after already standing at the foot of blogging in utter disbelief of its magnitude. We've already shared with anyone who will listen, how difficult it is to post everyday, learn HTML and get others to read our blogs. And now, with pages upon pages of encouragement, wonderful memories and a stack of business cards in our BlogHer '12 tote, we have to actually do something.
The thought that President Barack Obama, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Christy Turlington Burns, Soledad O'Brien, Malaak Compton-Rock and 4,500+ other bloggers cleared our schedules for the same event is mind-boggling. In the spirit of the Olympics, BlogHers, the baton has been passed. Facing all the uncertainty of the day-to-day, armed with a little more grist for our mill and with the determination to get from here to there, we'll be different women by BlogHer '13.
SabrinaBlogs at Much Needed Advice for Women.